Jeff Watson of Transport Canada shakes Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem’s hand following the announcement that more than $10 million would be provided to the Prince Rupert Airport for safety projects. Richard Reed

Government funding will assist with safety projects at YPR

Transport Canada will contribute more than $10 million to help with much-needed upgrades at the Prince Rupert Airport.

Transport Canada will contribute more than $10 million to help with much-needed upgrades at the Prince Rupert Airport (YPR).

Jeff Watson, parliamentary secretary to Canada’s Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt was in Prince Rupert on Tuesday morning to make the announcement, which took place at Prince Rupert City Hall.

Through the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), which helps regional airports make improvements needed to operate safely and efficiently, $10,308,741 will be provided over two years for the overlay of YPR’s runway, taxiways and the apron, as well as the relocation of visual aids at the Prince Rupert Airport.

“These improvements will continue to ensure safe visibility and airport operations for passengers, employees, medical evacuations and firefighting operations,” said Watson.

“The Prince Rupert Airport is a vital gateway for local residents, businesses, trade and tourism. “This investment will enhance safety for travellers and residents while supporting productivity and economic growth in the region.”

Prince Rupert Airport manager Richard Reed said the upgrades are vital.

“We’ve had issues with it over the past three years … This will make a tremendous difference to the safety our airport and security of the people who fly in and out,” said Reed.

Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem said the announcement came at the right time, and will help given the increased activity at the airport.

The safety projects will begin in about two weeks with the Prince Rupert Airport Authority holding a pre-construction meeting with Adventure Paving, who have been selected to undertake the project. This will happen alongside extensive renovations to the airport’s terminal building.

To date YPR, through ACAP, has received more than $14 million in funding for nine safety projects including the recent announcement.

Since ACAP started the government has invested close to $621 million in 761 projects at 174 regional airports across Canada.